Sophie Walters is the Potters Theatre Company dance captain and performs live on stage every night. We had a chat with her about reblocking, kicking shoe off stage and going to bed at 4am…
What do you have to do as dance captain?
I’m there to support everyone, be there if they need something and make sure they feel comfortable and know what they are doing. We also do a warm-up before the shows with cardio followed by a stretch. Reblocking is also a massive part of the role. If people are injured, ill or take holiday I have to sort out who will perform their part and this can happen a few hours before a show or during a show so you need to think on your feet and I will need to subtly tell people what they need to then do or cover live on stage!
What style of dance do you do?
I am trained in ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre, but at Potters it is commercial so you give them all a bash! We do ballroom, samba, irish dancing, tango and many more.
I’ve been in six shows and loves the dancing styles of Around the World in 80 Minutes, the feel good factor of Legends and I also love Broadway & Beyond. We always strive to raise the bar each time. I’ve got to do many lifts too during my time at Potters!
Shows are around 80 to 90 minutes and they are full on and they are such high energy performances, but it is great fun with lots of variety,
What’s the best part of Potters Theatre Company?
That we are allowed to grow here, professionally and personally. I have learnt so much and been given many opportunities. I am from the other side of the country so hadn’t been here before I started in the Company but was blown away by the shows and the costumes when I arrived. We work with the best team and choreographers, which makes my life as dance captain easier. Also how much the guests love the shows makes you want to just give it everything you can.
What is the most common thing to go wrong on stage?
Costumes can break before you go on or things can fall off during a performance – we’ll often have to kick away a prop or a shoe and then just casually pick it up later. I once got my can-can dress stuck to my head in Around the World for the whole song!
What do you think is the biggest misconception of the shows or the Company?
When we have a new show we work all day and put in so many hours rehearsing, as well as being on stage that night. They can be very long days.
People are surprised by the amount of people who are behind the scenes and all the people it takes to put on a show. We have tech crew and so many people working to give the shows the wow factor. I think people are genuinely surprised by what they see when they first see one of our shows and just the standard of them.
What was your career highlight before Potters?
I went to Australia and to Fiji and around that area for nine months, so am very lucky that this line of work has taken me to some amazing places.
What style of music do you like?
I’m a big Spice Girls fan and love 80s music. I almost went to university to be a physiotherapist but decided to pursue this. My uncle is in musical theatre too and in the West End, and currently in On Your Feet! – the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and I always go to him for advice.
What time are you in bed every night?
We don’t finish until late and you can’t then wind down. The other night I was in bed at 4am!